The amazing Incas

We returned to Machu Picchu today to climb to higher heights. Maggie and I did not get our wake up call so we rushed through breakfast which meant no time for coca tea and no time for my altitude pill to start working.. We began climbing very steep steps, everyone was winded but I was not recovering as fast as the other days. I opted to turn around and spend the morning exploring by myself. After two hours I returned to town to site see until after lunch.

Lunch was at another fabulous buffet. After lunch there was shopping and the the train back down the mountain.

We had another long bus ride to Cusco for a two night stay.

Saturday Feb 2

Cusco is a lovely city with a very large square, built originally by the Incas. When the Spanish came they decreased the size of the square by building several streets of shops.
The Spanish also built a very large cathedral with a basilica. The art, silver and gold that adorns the walls,niches and side chapels is stunning and mind boggling. When the church was built the people in town pleaded for prime spaces to decorate with commissioned art work. There is a solid silver carriage that was pulled by horses. It has been converted to ride on a golf cart and is used for religious festivals. My favourite is the Last Supper painted by Zapota(?)) the food on the table consists of Andean bread and cheese and a roast Guinea pig. The face on Judas is the face of Pizzaro the Spanish conquistador.

We visited the Korichana, the sun Temple which has been converted to a Catholic Church. The architectural skill of the Incas is still maintained in parts of the building.

We stopped at Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fort that was never completed. The size of the stones and the shapes they are cut I so that each stone fits perfectly against the next and has remained in place several hundred years without mortar.

After a quick stop at an alpaca factory were we hosted in a private home for lunch. The meal was all native dishes made from ingredients purchased at the market that day. The surprise treat was Guinea pig. It is a greasy, stringy meat with small bones, one piece will last me a lifetime.

Evening free time was spent shopping the small stands for souvenirs that my kids will eventually donate to goodwill or toss.

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